tv [untitled] August 26, 2010 8:00pm-8:30pm PST
to tell you, though, and i think both those people who were true educators would be proud to know that we had a great opening day of the school year. this last week was a fabulous week for all our children and parents and i really want to congratulate the leadership, the faculties, the teacher, the staff the custodians, maintenance workers, landscaping people, everybody who came together and with one week left, usually they have a longer summer to try to put everything together so that when school starts, it's show time and it's a magical place for kids so it takes all these people who went out and cleaned our schools in a short time, made sure that if you're like me and had a chance to go visit our schools, they were spotless. so i really want to thank all the folks that it took to open up the school year and i know that everybody put in a lot of time and energy and we couldn't have done it without you. so on behalf of this great district of ours, i want to say
thank to you everybody that helped us, including the parents who brought those great kids to us. i also -- [applause] >> the first thing is always exciting, one of my favorite things is to go out and see schools and i have to tell you, this year was really fun. to walk in at drew elementary school to see their scholars that the principal calls and you know, go to that school because believe it or not, in the bay view and they showed double-digit growth in both math and language arts for all students at their school, so you know, we can close the achievement gap and they're living proof of that faculty, their hard work and principal and everybody around there who believed in those kids. and to watch them sit there and just be kids the first day of school, watch a few kindergarteners cry, it comes close to home thinking of my own kids when they started school. and then to have a chance to go over to mission high school and i think make was really tough about starting out the meeting
like that is i actually was in her classroom. i spent a little bit of time and it was really exciting to watch kids come in and hug ms. cecil and all be excited about being in her class, some of them for the second year and they were so excited and unbeknownstth to us 20 minutes after we left is when all this occurred. so that made it tough for us. but from there we had a chance to go and visit some of the great things that are going on in our district, and we had a chance to also go to sherman elementary school, that also showed some phenomenal double-digit growth and really are doing some incredible work there. and that was great. and we also had an opportunity to visit one middle school, and that was a fun trip because, as you know, my favorite is middle school, so we had an opportunity to go over where your son was, you know. and i didn't see him, but it
was -- we went to james lake middle school and it's great to have a board member who actually has a son there. yeah, i think he was avoiding me. but anyway, you know, it was a wonderful -- to really showcase all the great work that's going on in our schools was really fascinating and exciting. and just so that you know, sometimes the voters, we can't thank you enough for passing these bonds. i know you have to pay for it, but i'll tell you, really every penny is so well spent because of the 2003-2006 top a facilities bonds, the work that just happened this summer is incredible. just think this summer the facilities department and bond program had over $100 million of renovation work being done in over 50 schools and child development centers throughout the school district. the students in wheelchairs have easier access now as a
result of this work. students have great yards, green yards. the students can explore their environment, learn -- make joyful learners of kids where they get to grow things and use it in all their classes, not just in science but math and reading, social studies, everything. to be able to walk those hallways and see the support for wiring of technology throughout our district, just think by the end of this year we're going to have every single school in our entire district wired with broadband a thousand times faster than what they have right now and have some wireless going on, if coffee shops can have it, i think our schools ought to be having these things. so you know, we're trying to create a different environment but we couldn't have done it without the supporters and voters here in san francisco who actually stand up and believe in children, not like the rest of the state but here in san francisco. you know, people sometimes laugh about our valu
laugh about our values. laugh about our values. laugh about our values. well, they're not laughing now because in san francisco people do believe in public education and they showed it going out and voting and supporting our children. it does make a huge difference. and when you look at later on this evening, we'll have a presentation about our test scores. folks, we're hitting it out of the park. we're starting to turn it around. we're nine years in a row growth in test scores but what we're really proud of is the last two years african-american, latino and pacific islander students are outperforming, showing more growth than anybody in the district and that's what our strategic plan was all about and getting everybody moving ahead. i'm really proud of the work and when you see that, i think you'll be as proud as we are. the last thing i want to share is, you know, the student assignment program, we had a special meeting just last week about it. we want to start hearing more about it and we want to post so you're aware of the community and we want you involved in this.
this isn't just a done deal. we want to hear people's input and we're going to flash up these dates on the screen, the first is wednesday, august 25 at 6:00 p.m., at dr. charles drew elementary school, 50 pomona avenue. if you can't make any of these meetings, go online. we've set up a lot of different ways for you to give us your opinion. we put it up here and if you go on that webpage you can have a survey and answer questions and give us your ideas. so we know, no matter what system we come up with won't be perfect but is as good in giving us good, constructive ideas. last but not least i want to mention today i had a great opportunity this afternoon at around noon to walk out in the mission district over on 24th between brine and florida street and went out there with the mayor and we were putting up signs in all the merchants'
windows about the truancy assessment resource center windows about the truancy assessment resource center which is new and we're putting up the signs everywhere -- they're bigger than this. but we're putting them -- we're encouraging all the merchants that if they see -- because truancy is not just a school district problem but a community problem and we're asking the merchants throughout the city to get involved, put these posters up and if they see children during school hours hanging out to please call this number so we can get them back in school. it's not about punishing kids. it's about getting them, meeting with their families, finding out what's getting in the way but we can educate our kids to be 21st century learners and successful if we don't have them in our schools. so we're glad we partnered with the mayor and gavin newsom and everyone, the board of supervisors, everybody's come forward to support this and i think it really is taking a community -- taking the responsibility for all our children because i don't know about you, but there's nothing
more important in this city or any other city in the world than our children. thank you. [applause] >> one more thing. before i forget, as you heard today we got rejected on race to the top fund. that's not good news but there is good news this afternoon, we were informed that the state just passed -- that the state board of education, the school improvement grants, the state grants were awarded, 10 of our schools are getting those grants and that's $45 million that we will be able to turn around these schools and do some great work. thanks. president kim: commissioner wynns? commissioner wynns: i don't mean this to be facetious, superintendent garcia, since we and you and the district were involved in doing the race to the top grant and advocating
for, or at least by implication, supporting the changes the state made to qualify, i'm wondering if we're going to be advocating for taking back our better standards than the ones that the state board of ed adopted in order to try to get the federal government's money. so i'm hoping that in -- i'm presuming there will be further discussions among the members of the committee to put it together, including you, and i'm asking you to bring up that as a suggestion. >> second. president kim: thank you. item c, missions and resolutions of accommodation and this is when we do our rave review awords and i'm going to turn it over to superintendent garcia. >> this is the fun part of the meeting because we get a chance to recognize some of the outstanding unsung heroes that are out in our school district, always doing great things and it's nice that people take the time to recognize them, and we call these our rave reviews. so at this time i'd like to
call the brand-new principal, actually, at spring valley elementary school, lisa kwang to the podium and she'll make the first presentation. congratulations. >> thank you. good evening, commissioners and superintendent garcia. i'm lisa kwang, new principal at spring valley science school. spring valley is the oldest public school in san francisco. we just celebrated our 150th anniversary not that long ago and it's definitely a hidden gem in the city. we're located right between russian hill and knob hill and many families live in the neighborhood and many travel far and wide to come to our school mainly because we have such a talented and dedicated teaching staff. we have some of our teachers right here and as one of my duties as principal, i'm very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce one of our shining stars at spring valley, our second great teacher, ms. jennifer man.
jennifer has taught at spring valley 18 years. she doesn't look like she's taught there for 18 years but she's had. she started there. that was her first teaching assignment and stayed there sin. that speaks to i think the quality of teachers there at the school. when you first meet jennifer you would think that she's shy but within that quiet demeanor beats the heart of a passionate educator. her passion shines through when she teaches. she reaches out to all her students no matter what level they may be. she often goes the extra mile to help them by sacrificing her own time to tutor them after school. her passion radiates when she works with her leagues. she's always willing to help, either planning a lesson with a fellow teacher, coordinating schoolwide events or assisting the school secretary when she's busy with phone calls. jennifer is the type of person who will never refuse you if you ask her for help. and she helps you without ever
asking for anything in return. her passion for teaching stems from her own background, a background similar to those whom she serves, like many of our students, jennifer was born in hong kong and arrived in this country as an immigrant. english was not her first language so she unders what her students go through every day trying to learn subjects in a language they're not familiar with and having parents who may not be able to help them with their homework. she is well loved at spring valley by everyone and here are a few things her colleagues shared about her. she's organized, punctual, dependable, caring, kind, generous, humble, and has a great sense of humor. jennifer is a role model for her students, for her colleagues and for all of us, so it's my pleasure to introduce you to ms. jennifer
man. >> i'm very honored to receive this award today, and i would like to especially thank my colleague and good friend, laura garcia castro for recognizing and nominating me. i've been teaching at spring valley school -- science school for 18 years now and i feel very fortunate to be a part of a wonderful school with a great staff. we all place a high emphasis on making sure our students are aware of the importance of intelligent behaviors and critical thinking. students learn that there's a lot of things they can do to become smarter, such as asking lots of questions, being open minded, and admitting mistakes. they also know that because everyone is different, that we
may not all like the same things or learn the same way which means that if one way doesn't work for us in understanding something, we might want to approach it a different way. thus, staying persistent and not giving up, as well as finding alternatives will eventually lead our students to a path of self-discovery and enlightenment. in saying this, it is also our job as educators to guide them along this rewarding path. and i can probably say that my leagues, some of whom are here tonight with my principal to support me, have been doing just that. it is along with their hard work and dedication that our students continue to accelerate and grow as learners, thank you. >> thank you. i also want to recognize the long time principal at spring valley elementary school, ms.
lonnie chan who is in the back as well. thank you. [inaudible] >> i guess she'll always be there. we hope so anyway. thanks. the next presenter is my privilege to interruse allen broussard, the executive director of the child development program. >> thank you. thank you, superintendent and commissioners. i don't have a prepared speech because it was -- once i found out that sarah, too, my colleague, had been nominated for this award i knew it would be very easy to just speak from my heart. she is quite an amazing person. she's only been with us for a year and a half. she's our clerk for our program quality and enhancement unit, and she came to us about a year
and a half ago when we were pretty desperate. we didn't have anyone there who has really been able to fill the bill. and we kind of found her accidentally actually through her sister who works with us, and she has really -- you know, she's one of these people who is a quiet moving force behind the scenes who doesn't make a lot of noise but it very powerful and provides an amazing amount of infrastructure and calm and organization for our unit. i mean, she's always five steps ahead of me, so i know if i don't know where i'm going, i can call sarah and she'll let me know. and she's just incredibly -- one of the most kind people i have ever met. from -- anyone can call the child development program, from a parent to a teacher, and she will spend an hour on the phone with them helping them work through whatever their issue is
. when we talk about customer service, this is real customer service. so it's just been such an honor to work with you the last year and a half, sarah. i'm sorry to have embarrassed you so much. but honestly, you're such a treasure for our program and we really appreciate you and i'm so happy you're getting this award. [applause] president kim: thank >> thank you all for this honor. my three siblings and i went through the public school system in san francisco, my mother a paraprofessional and my father retired as an elementary school teacher after about 25 years of teaching. my sister and my sister-in-law both have several years with the district, and about a year and a half ago i came over to
the dark side. [laughter] >> but it's truly rewarding for me to know i have a job where i can sort of give back to the system that's been a large part of our lives all these years. i'd like to thank allen broussard for bringing me into the child development program and making me a part of the team at 20 coach street. we have a small team but it's a great group of people and together we support the 32 child development centers and pre-k programs in the elementary schools. it's rewarding for me to know that the efforts we put forth every day, somehow might make a difference in the lives of our district's youngest students, so i thank you for the opportunity, and i thank you for this award. [applause] president kim: now that our school year has begun, we can maybe get a short report from our student delegates, ms.
cheryl chan and elvina fan. >> ok, so yesterday was our first s.a.c. meeting and it was great to meet everyone which including our new coordinator who is in the audience tonight, jocelyn seal. [applause] >> and also, there is a mission forum which is at mission high school, and on september 23 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. where the board of education candidates get to answer questions from different students about the school district and what they would want to happen or their concerns. and also, last week there was a meeting with peter waterborn in charge of youth vote and it was decided on which ballot measures will be on the youth vote ballot because the fall
youth vote ballot is a mock election of what will be on the november ballot and what we decided on was propdilm 19, 20, and 25 which will be on the youth ballot for the high school students to vote on in the fall. >> could you tell us how you picked? was it based on issues you felt were important to young people? >> yeah. these are obviously the issues that have stood out, like the lie law and as well as noncitizens voting for members of the board of education because, i mean, noncitizens are -- they also take part in the system and it would not be right to let them not have a voice in who they vote for. >> thank you so much. are there any other questions
or comments from the board? thank you. president kim: we move on to our parent advisory council report. >> good evening, commissioners and superintendent. we're happy to be here again. my name is nancy. i have agreed to continue with another term on the pac so you will see me here more. >> and i'm ms. levine and am on the p.a.c. again and very happy to be here. >> so we're very excited to start working with the district and the school board again and bringing the voice of the parents to you all. i think there is a lot of excitement right now. parents are very excited about the schools. we've heard a lot of kids are
really happy in their classrooms and we're all really glad to be back. we're real excited that the district worked so hard and the school board to kind of smooth a lot of the budget issues and so i think there is a sense of relief in a lot of the schools although there are some issues out there and we're very excited about what's happening around that. >> this year on the p.a.c., there are a few priority issues that i just wanted to highlight in the report that we sent. we wanted to make sure that we know a lot of wonderful things are happening in many schools but there are still some places that are broken. and we want to make sure that high standards are set across the schools in the district. i know we sound kind of like a broken record because we've said this over and over again, but it's true. we want to make sure that teachers and administrators are held accountable to make sure
all the kids are getting the education they deserve. and i wanted to share a quick story with you of what happened in a conversation that i had this week. there's a woman that's a friend of mine who has spent a lot of time on her elac and she's an immigrant and she's learning english. she told me last year her son had a great year. he had a fabulous teacher and they were all excited. but in the summer when she got her star scores, not a test or anything, but he is performing below basic. and she did not understand because her teacher was saying that he was doing great, things are looking good, and now -- and he's also in the after school tutoring program, and she's really concerned because she feels like she doesn't know what to do. she spent a lot of time volunteering at the school, she spent a lot of her personal
time working with her kids and she told me she works as a nanny and she told me now she has to work overtime to hire a private tutor for her and she feels betrayed. and this is just one example. there are many parents who are very happy with the school system but her son goes to school at a star school and, you know, the passing -- the proficiency rate is barely at 50%. and so there -- the story echoes very clearly on a certain side of town where i live and my friends live, and so we want to make sure that all the schools across the town are setting the same high standards for all kids in making sure that they all get the education that they deserve. so that is a priority that we would like to make sure that you'll hear us talking about frequently on the p.a.c.
>> another priority is parent engagement, clearly. with the start of the new school year that's on a lot of people's minds. i know at our school we're trying to figure out how to better recruit a more diverse range of parents and meet the needs of our families and how to communicate with our families and really feel this is an important step for improving the schools. we know we've heard in conversations in the past on the p.a.c. that better communication is really critical. parents are really looking for that. i know that i've been talking to a group of parents that have been writing letters for 10 years about a teacher that they're very concerned with at their school and they're not clear about where these letters have gone, about how the process works, about how complaints are heard through the district. very important to have a transparent process in place where parents understand how these process ees from the district work. communication is one of the issues we've heard.
parents want to be engaged but sometimes have barriers and we're hoping schools really look at some of these barriers and how to get around them. and schools need to be building connections with neighborhoods. we're really excited about the new parent engagement plan and the draft that was read and really are looking forward to helping with implementation of this plan in the future and helping to look at how that might be efficiently and effectively done. we really feel it's important this plan doesn't get shelved but that it's really an active plan. this is such an important thing to our district and our kids and our families, so we just want to reiterate the need for a time line and the need for some accountability measures for meeting the standards and are really looking forward to working with the district on that. >> and the last thing that we want to talk about is the feedback on attendance areas and feeder patterns for enrollment. the p.a.c. is not making a
comment directly on that because the p.a.c. has not met. our first meeting is coming up next week. but we want to remind you of the priorities that you set out when you decided to re-create, or, sorry, to change the student assignment system. and those priorities are to reverse the trend of racial isolation and the concentration of underdeserve served students in the same school and to -- underserved students in the same school and to provide a stage at the assignment process. when you're hearing the voices we want to make sure you're hearing the voices of the parents when you're looking at the proposal. we, partnering with you and p.p.s. had many conversations with parents about the new enrollment plan and this attendance area and feeder patterns should reflect some of those conversations hopefully
that we've had. and so i just wanted to remind you that some of the key themes that we've heard from the parents, again, and this also is from the summary report of the findings, that parents want choice. and including those who want to choose their local schools. we want to make sure those things are going on as well as parents want the school and their community to be high quality. they want equitable access to quality schools and every parent wants that for their child. and i think natasha is going to add on a couple more things. >> again, i was excited to hear about the website and see the work you're doing around communicating with families about this, the community meetings are a really important part and the survey. and we just want to reiterate it's a very quick turn around time that we're looking at and it's the beginning of the school year and a lot of these meetings are overlapping with back-to-school nights and other events like that. so we just want to reiterate
how important it is to recognize to use your voices as parents in the process and make sure they're all being heard and we appreciate all the attempts that everyone is making to do that. so we're looking forward to the upcoming year and working with everybody and we're excited about all the new things going on. >> thank you. >> and i hope you'll be able to give us some feedback, too, on the plan and boundaries at our next meeting. >> i wasn't -- sorry. >> as soon as you're done. >> i was going to take comments and questions from the board. commissioner maufas. commissioner maufas: thank for you your report and thank you for being here at the school year. but i would hope we would begin to set up -- [audio problems] commissioner maufas: that we